Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Week in Review (August 7-13th)

Usually I am busy with all of the different activities that the children are involved in, but this week I was busy with my own activities.  I had a Mom's Night Out dinner one night this week, a dentist appointment one morning, a doctor's appointment another day, and another meeting.  The children also had a dentist appointment.  That is a lot of appointments for us in one week, but at least we got them all over with for awhile.

Our goats needed a hair cut.  To be able to give them a hair cut, we had to buy something that hooked to the fence to help restrain them.  You can buy an entire trimming table but those were more expensive.  We also had to buy some clippers to cut the goat's hair and some hoof trimmers.  The boys gave each goat a bath and then cut their hair and trimmed their hooves.  Alex did the cutting and trimming.  He did a great job especially since he had never done it before.  The goats are still coughing.  I guess we just are going to have to deal with it since nothing seems to help.  I just want them to be healthy and for me to survive the fair!

Wednesday my meeting was at the church.  Our church has a Wednesday afternoon ministry called Kid's Club and this year I am going to be the director.  We had a meeting to choose curriculum and make plans for the year. I have been busy this week getting forms typed up and a Facebook page started.  Next week I will be getting forms mailed out.  I am excited about the new curriculum and hope we will have a great year!

Thursday we went to Texarkana to the dentist.  All of the children were cavity free!! Yay!!  They did come and get me to ask me to come back so the dentist could show me something (I really did not like the sound of that!) Anthony has 4 baby teeth that are very loose and may be causing problems with his permanent teeth that are coming in.  So he has to wiggle them like crazy because if they do not come out on their own in the next month we have to take him back to get them pulled.  One came out Saturday so he only has 3 to go.

While we were down there, we took advantage of Kid's Bowl Free and bowled two games.  I only had to pay for shoe rental which was $10.50.  We also got .50 Frosties from Wendys on the way home.

We had to stop by the school that day as well to turn in the rest of Nick's paperwork, get his ID made, and meet  his Robotics teacher.

Friday we went shopping a lit later then usual.  Nick and Alex had a 4 H party to go to at 12:45.  We ran a few errands, went shopping and dropped them off.  It was very hot and humid that day.  We ended up getting quite a bit of rain that afternoon after we went back and picked them up.

I was not planning on doing any school this week.  We were going to start on the 14th.  But Emmie really wanted to do some schoolwork.  She wants to be able to read.  So I got out her All About Reading Level One. (aff link)  The great thing about this program is that they start reading very quickly.  After you complete the first two lessons you get to read the first story.  She was very proud to read the first story!! She completed lessons 1-4 this week.

I can remember feeding the monster with Alex and Anthony!!

When Lily saw Emmie doing schoolwork, she decided she needed to do some too so she got out her new Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 3 book.  She completed the first three lessons this week.

I can't believe the rabbit lets her hold it like that!

I have been writing product reviews since 2010.  I have written many, many reviews.  This week I was very surprised and impressed when I received a Thank You gift from a vendor I did a review for, Adventures of Rush Revere. It was very generous of them to send it and much appreciated! 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

5th and 6th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

I try to combine subjects in as many areas as I can.  My 5th and 6th graders are very close in ability, so that makes it a bit easier.  The only subject they do separately is math, everything else is together.

I had planned on using The Mystery of History this year for history.  I LOVE this series and had been all the way through it with Nick and Alex. Anthony and Christian did tag along for a few years, but were very young when we first started the series.  When we were talking about plans for the upcoming school year, they all wanted to do American history.  So all of my elementary students will be doing American history this year with a curriculum we have not used before.  We will also be using a science curriculum we have never used before.

Anthony and Christian's curriculum for this year includes:

Bible: We are continuing our reading through the New Testament.  We will be starting with Luke since we finished Matthew and Mark last year.

Poetry: We will be using IEW Poetry again this year.

History: America's Story 1 from Master Books.  I really like the look of this series, but there are three volumes.  I am not sure about spending three years on just American History.  We will have to see how it goes when we get started.

Science:  We will be using Science in the Age of Reason by Jay Wile. We love science and I hope this will be a fun and interesting curriculum for the children.

Geography: We have just started a once a week geography program called Let's Go Geography.  If I like it we will use it all year.

Math: Math Lessons for a Living Education 5 and 6

Language Arts: Readers in Residence.  We completed the first unit of this last spring so will start up where we left off.

Handwriting: We use the PenTime handwriting books.  Christian and Anthony will both use Book 5.

Spelling: We started All About Spelling Level 4 (aff link) last year and will continue where we left off.

Nature Study: We are going to try to do a nature study once a week using Exploring Nature with Children.

Art: I have a variety of art curricula.  We are planning on finishing up our ArtAchieve lessons to start with and will decide from there.

P.E.: We will have about an hour and a half to kill in town every day from August until December so I am planning on doing P.E. while we are there at the park.

The boys have also been working once a week on CodaKid Mod Creation Portals and Dimensions.

Our school year starts bright and early Monday morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

I had a really hard time deciding on curriculum for Alex.  While I try to combine as many things as possible, going from 1-8th grade can be a bit of a stretch.  My younger 4 children really love listening to me read and doing hands on activities, but Alex no longer cares for those types of activities.  He really wanted something that he could just do on his own, by reading and answering questions.

I thought some online classes would be a good fit for him, but when I started looking at them, most cost anywhere from $200-$500 per class and that was way out of my budget.  Then I was offered a 30 day trial for Alpha Omega Monarch (anyone can try it for 30 days for free I found out about it when they were a possible vendor), so I signed up for the trial.  Their pricing structure was more affordable at around $320 on sale for 5 classes: Math, Bible, Language Arts, Science, and History/Geography.  You put in your start and end dates and can schedule in all of your breaks, field trips, etc.. and the program schedules out the students assignments.  The majority of the grading is done automatically.  You also have the ability to choose courses from different grade levels.  If for instance your child was at an 9th grade level for language arts and a 7th grade level for math you can choose those courses. It doesn't automatically make you choose all 8th grade if that's the grade your child is supposed to be in.  It also has a read to me feature which is great for struggling readers or auditory learners.

To be honest, I thought it was kind of boring just reading and answering the questions.  There were a few little interactive type videos and some graphs and charts.  But Alex liked it and wanted to give it a try.  So he is committed to completing the courses I chose for him this year.

He will be taking:

Bible 800- "Bible 800 provides a developmental and in-depth academic study of the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. It focuses on prayer, salvation, the attributes of God, the book of Proverbs, and interpersonal relationships. Special emphasis is given to a survey of Church history from the early Church through the Reformation. These areas target five content strands: theology, the attributes of God, biblical literature, Christian growth, and Church history (a special topic). "

History and Geography 800 - " The course focuses on American History, covering the subject from early exploration through the present day, with special emphasis given to the Civil War and to inventions and technology of the 19th and early 20th centuries. These areas of focus target three major content strands: History, Geography, and Government "

General Science I-" Some of the areas covered in General Science I include the scientific method, overview of the four major areas of science, mathematics in science, astronomy, the atmosphere, natural cycles, weather and climate, human anatomy and physiology, and careers in science."

Language Arts 700- "Language Arts 700 continues to build on the sequential development and integration of communication skills in four major areas—reading, writing, speaking, and listening."

Mathematics 800- Pre-Algebra

School starts bright and early Monday morning!

Homeschool Crew Review: No-Nonsense Algebra

Math Essentials

Math Essentials offers straight forward, easy to use and understand math products for elementary, middle, and high school students.  The author, Rick Fisher,  has been a math teacher for over 30 years and has devoted his time to teaching and developing products that produce results.  We have had an opportunity to use and review No-Nonsense Algebra over the last several weeks.

No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra has two different components.  First you have a 275 page paperback book.  Purchase of the book also gives you access to instructional videos for each lesson.  Students will also need a notebook or paper to copy down each of the problems.  No-Nonsense Algebra has 10 chapters with several lessons in each chapter.  Chapters include:

Chapter 1: Necessary Tools for Algebra
Chapter 2: Solving Equations
Chapter 3: Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
Chapter 4: Solving and Graphing Inequalities
Chapter 5: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
Chapter 6: Polynomials
Chapter 7: Rational Expressions
Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Geometry
Chapter 9: Quadratic Equations
Chapter 10: Algebra Word Problems

Each lesson follows the same format.  In the book you read through the introduction and helpful hints section and then go over the examples.  Then you work through the exercises.  It is strongly recommended that you copy each of the problems on a piece of paper and work them out step by step.  Then you go through the review section and correct your work using the solutions in the back of the book.

You have the option of using the online videos along with the lesson and watching the videos before doing the work in the book  In the videos you can see example problems worked out step by step.  The videos vary in length, but are under 20 minutes long. 

No-Nonsense Algebra is a full curriculum and can be used as such.  It also can be used as a supplement to go along with your regular math curriculum.  We used it as a review.  My son took Algebra 1 in 8th grade and then Geometry in 9th grade.  For 10th grade he will be doing Algebra 2 and I thought a review of Algebra would be good before starting that and also as a refresher for math that he will have to do when taking the ACT this year.

The name No-Nonsense Algebra describes this course exactly.  There are no extras or frills with this program, they are not necessary.  It goes step by step through examples to teach students how to work out the problems.  The videos are short but teach the necessary information.  You do not need a separate teacher book, everything you need is contained in one book, including the solutions.  Students can use this book completely independently.

I recommended No-Nonsense Algebra just the other day to a high school homeschooler who did not score as well in the math section of the ACT as she wanted to.  I think this book is a great, affordable way to go over areas of Algebra that you may struggle in, spending only minutes a day.  It can be used as a complete curriculum as well and I love how flexible the program is. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by  the Crew Blog!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

This year is going to bring a few changes for Nick.  Last year, a change was made in the Tim Tebow Law in the state of Arkansas.  When this law first passed allowing homeschoolers to participate in extra curricular activities at a public school, it had to be in the district that you lived in.  This year the change was made that you can choose the school whose activities you want to participate in if both superintendents (your district and the district you want to go to) agree. We live in one district, but attend church and do all of our activities in the town in another district.  The district that we live in does not have a soccer team, but the other district started one last year.  Nick played soccer from the time he was 4 until he aged out of park soccer at 14 and  has really missed playing.  I was so thankful that the law was changed because I was praying for a way for him to be able to play on the soccer again.  One of the conditions of him playing is that he will have to be in school for one class period per day.  For the fall semester he will be taking Robotics I and II and in the spring semester he will be taking Track as his class. Soccer practices will start some time in January. He will not be able to compete in any games until next school year, but he will be able to practice with the team this year. 

So Nick will earn 1 credit in Robotics and 1 credit for Track.  In addition to those classes he will be taking:

Apologia Marine Biology (1 credit)
Math U See Algebra II (1 credit)
Total Health (1/2 credit)
Notgrass Exploring World History- This course will be worth 3 credits.  He will earn 1 credit in Bible, 1 credit in World Literature, and 1 credit in World History.

Our school year starts bright and early Monday morning!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Greek 'n' Stuff

Greek 'n' Stuff

Last spring we spent several weeks studying Ancient Greece and became interested in learning more about the Greek language. I was glad to have an opportunity to use and review Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!-Level 3 Set from Greek 'n' Stuff, which teaches koine Greek, the language of the New Testament.
Hey, Andrew!Teach Me Some Greek!

We received:

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!- Level 3 Student Workbook

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!- Level 3 Full Text Answer Key

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!-Level 3 & 4 Pronunciation CD

There are 8 Levels available for Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!  Which level you start with will depend on the age/ability of your child.  Level 1 can be used with very young children that have paper and pencil skills.  Level 2 is recommended for 2nd grade and up and Level 3 for 4th grade and up. For Levels 4-8 it is recommended that you complete the previous level before moving on to the next level. 

The Student Workbook is a 180 page, spiral bound, paperback book.  There are 36 lessons in Level 3 with a recommendation of completing one page per day. The workbook is consumable and intended to be used by one student.  It starts with the Geek alphabet, then moves on to words and building simple sentences.  For each lesson there are different activities for the student to do such as: writing words, drawing pictures, matching the English word to the Greek, puzzles and more.  In the back of the book are flashcards to cut out.  There is also an appendix with a glossary, information about the Greek letters, vowels and diphthongs, breathing marks, punctuation, word order, tenses, cases, gender, and declensions.

The Answer Key is also a 180 page, spiral bound, paperback book.  The Answer Key contains the complete Student Workbook with all of the answers filled in.  In addition to the appendices, the Answer Key has a suggested schedule, some helpful teaching tips, and resources to look for more information.

The Pronunciation CD is a CD for levels 3 and 4.  It starts with the alphabet song and then has a short track with a voice pronouncing each of the words that are introduced.  Most of the tracks are only 6 or 7 seconds long.

In addition to the products we received Greek 'n' Stuff also a Quiz and Exam book and flashcards on a ring to go with their Greek sets. They also have a Reader, Bible Copybook, Sheet Music, and Bookmarks.

We chose Level 3 even though we have had no previous experience with the Greek language because of the recommendation on the website that this level is appropriate for upper elementary aged children. My first impression was that I was excited that I  both the student workbook and answer key are spiral bound (so they can lay flat on the table!) and have a nice glossy cover.  We started our lessons with listening to the alphabet song on the CD several times so we would have an idea of what the letters should sound like.  It does move kind of fast so listening several times helped to be able to understand it better.  Next we moved on to learning and writing the letters of the alphabet, then moving on to learning some Greek words.

I love that it is very easy to pick up and work through the exercises.  Parents, you do not have to have any Greek in your background in order to help your child work through this course. Everything you need to know is explained in the book, even an explanation of how to write each letter.  Learning to write and recognize a few of the letters was a bit challenging for my son, but I love that there is a lot of practice and review included in the book.  There is a ton of variety in the type of activities that the student completes, and I think that it helps to keep the student interested and appeals to different types of learning styles.  Lessons are short and easy to understand.  You can move at the recommended pace of one page per day, or choose to complete multiple pages in a day. The workbook pages are in black and white and look clean, uncluttered, and free of any distractions.  I like that the flashcards were included in the workbook not as an extra purchase.

I have been hoping for an opportunity to try out Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! for a long time and have been very impressed with the product.  I am considering getting another workbook for my 8th grade son because he has shown some interest in the Greek language as well.

Members of The Crew also reviewed the Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 2 Set, and the I Can Study Bible Studies.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our Week in Review (July 31st-Aug 6th)

I finished ordering my curriculum for this year!  Our start date will be on August 14th, though we will not be jumping right in to a full schedule.  I have made some changes this year that I am hoping will be good ones.  I will be talking about our curriculum choices in a series of posts this week.

Tuesday I went and picked Chelsea up for the day.  Her apartment building is under construction and all the noise has been getting to her and the baby too.  Poor little guy was a bit cranky, but he had lots of attention from all of his aunts and uncles.  We will start babysitting him two afternoons a week next week.

I took her back that evening and headed over to church for a few hours to help sort items for the yard sale that the youth were doing to raise money. 

Thursday we had the Healthy Snacks 4 H workshop in the morning.  The children had a good time. 

Chelsea and Liam wandered over to get out of the apartment again and came home with us for a few hours. 

We had to go back to town late in the afternoon to take the coughing goats back to the vet.

The vet we saw thinks that they are in good health but for some reason have something that is irritating their throat area.  They both got two different shots, an antibiotic and a steroid.  They are still coughing, but I think it has improved some and we may not get rid of it completely.  The fair is only 4 weeks away!

After we left the vet, we were all thirsty, so we went to Sonic for Happy Hour, with the goats in the back of the van :) 

Friday morning was the STEM 4 H workshop from 9-12.

After it was over we picked up Chelsea and the baby and went to lunch with Art.  Then we had to go grocery shopping.  That afternoon our Ag Agent came over to look at the goats and talk to us a bit about showing them in the fair.  By then it was time for pizza and a movie.

Saturday morning Nick and Alex had to leave early to help work the church yard sale.  I went over to pick them up late that afternoon and we spent a few hours doing clean up.  After we had to go back to Walmart because it was tax free week-end and we needed a few school supplies and clothing items.

Lily made this painting this week all by herself.  I think she did a great job!

One of the things I bought at the yard sale was a tea set in a little basket.  It is probably the best $1 I have ever spent.  They have played with it for hours!

This week I have reviews going up for Green 'n' Stuff, No Nonsense Algebra, and the newest release from Colleen Coble.  We have several reviews we are working on including Apologia's Marine Biology, books from Carol P. Roman, Phonics Museum from Veritas Press, and a lapbook on inventors from A Journey Through Learning.

 I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

4 H Healthy Snacks and STEM Workshops

This week we had two 4 H workshops.

Thursday was the Healthy Snacks workshop.  The children learned about what's on a "healthy plate" and learned about what types of foods are found in each food group.  Then they were split up into groups and rotated through the different food stations.  They made: ice cream in a bag, English muffin pizzas, fruit kabobs, vegetable pictures, and little mice made out of graham crackers, strawberries, string cheese, almonds, and cream cheese.  Nick and Alex were in charge of the fruit kabob station.

The children all got a bag to take home with a "healthy plate" plate, jump rope, Frisbee, stickers and tattoos, and some recipes.

Friday morning was the STEM workshop.  We made magnetic slime that ended up not being as magnetic as we though it would but was still fun to play with (super messy though!) We also built and raced solar powered cars.  Each group got to make a car (not to keep they had to be sent back), and then we raced the cars against each other.  Nick's group won all of the races. All of the cars did actually move which was very impressive!